Intuition: Translating the Body’s Signals Accurately
The Tuesday before Thanksgiving my friend Leslie called her mom to tell her, “I’ll be driving down to your place on Wednesday morning, rather than tonight. I am just too tired to drive right now.”
The moment those words came out of her mouth she reported feeling a sinking sensation in her body, like she knew she was going to have a car accident.
This had happened years before in a similar way, so it felt familiar and eery.
As we spoke about it this morning, she told me more. “Weirdly enough, my mom kept saying to me, ‘Drive safely!’ She must have told me that three times in our short call.”
“Then, on my way down on Wednesday morning, at a stop light, a woman rear-ended me going about 50 miles per hour and completely totaled my car. I was really shaken up by the whole accident. And yet there was nothing I could have done to avoid it in that moment. I was obeying the law. I saw her too late to honk… and there was nowhere for me to pull out of her way.”
“Suzanne, I knew it was going to happen! And so did my mom! Is that a premonition or an intuition? If so, was that going to happen no matter what or could I have avoided it?”
The short answer is yes. When we stay present and continue to be curious about our intuition, other things can and may very well happen. But often certain factors conspire to get in the way.
The first factor is that many people believe that an intuition or premonition is inevitable – there is nothing they can do to stop it. So they just start to spin with the anxiety and fear that naturally accompanies that sense of “dread of the inevitable.”
Remember, optimal intuition is a full body experience and when we sense, see or feel something bad is coming, the tendency is to get caught in our fear and anxiety and stop listening. It is just too painful or scary. We then lose touch with the original signal and forget to check out other options.
Or we might be too busy or distracted to pay attention. Smart phones are a prime culprit in terms of taking us off track into that text, email or sudden call we just have to take. The signals from the body then get muted or lost.
Or we may not want to rock the boat and be impolite, so we stay in a situation that is bad, simply to be nice.
Or we might be too wedded to our plans to change them.
This was Leslie’s issue. She is a great strategic thinker, but in this case it was to her detriment. She looked at me sheepishly and admitted that she didn’t want to change the plans she had made, despite her body’s clear signaling of impending disaster in the face of those plans. Holding onto something tightly and not wanting to change it was clearly an issue here.
Once she realized what had happened internally for her, we backtracked together and I had her bring to mind the original phone call with her mom. She remembered the sinking sensation and her inner knowing that driving down at that time was not good.
Then we asked her body, her intuition, what would have happened if she had left at a different time, say, two hours earlier or later than she originally planned? Or the Tuesday evening before? The sinking sensation was not there when she contemplated those options.
It is a relief to know that intuitions or premonitions are not necessarily inevitable. So in a sense, her intuition was a simple signal from her deep wisdom, helping her to avoid something.
When we get these signals it is up to us to stay present, open, and curious as to what our intuition is asking of us…I call this staying in your power rather than caving to your fear, your rigidity, or your lack of being able to focus in the present moment.
Most of us don’t know we even have the option. Intuition is seen as a mysterious process being foisted on us by the Universe, rather than our own wisdom speaking to us, informing us of the best path forward.
Try it out next time yours is speaking to you and let me know what happens!